LOCSU welcomes NHS chief's call for community-service approach

18 March 2014

LOCSU has welcomed a call by outgoing NHS boss, Sir David Nicholson, for community-based services to be at the epicentre of future health provision. 
The NHS Chief Executive warned that a community-based approach was needed if the NHS is to meet the challenges of the future. 
Speaking in an exclusive interview to The Guardian recently, Sir David said that: “a large proportion of hospital care should be delivered in community settings if the NHS is to cope with the pressures posed by the ageing population, rise in the number of patients with one or more long-term conditions such as asthma or diabetes, and demand for new treatments.”
He acknowledged that more preventive work in the community reduces demand on hospitals and that concentrating specialised services leads to better outcomes for patients.
LOCSU has welcomed Sir David’s call for a “change fund” to allow the NHS to run existing hospitals while new services in the community were created and built up with the intention of providing a large amount of care. 
Responding to the health chief’s warning, LOCSU Managing Director, Katrina Venerus, said: “There is a real urgency for fundamental change in how eye health services are delivered and now is the time for CCGs to embrace community-based pathways and put eye health care on a sustainable basis for the future; making it more convenient and accessible for patients and more cost-effective for commissioners.
“We know that despite the fact that research shows that nearly four out of five people attending eye casualty have conditions that can be deemed ’non serious’, just over 10% of CCGs have commissioned community-based minor eye condition services. 
“Similarly, only a minority of CCG areas have a community service in place for monitoring hypertension or delivering post-operative cataract care.
“Innovation funding to support the development of community services would enable CCGs to succeed in reducing what Sir David referred to as its ‘outmoded reliance on hospital based care’.” 
To read the full interview, in which Nicolson warns that without radical change there will be a general decline in the quality of NHS care, visit The Guardian website.

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